My brother quit. If you ask him why, he will give you 7 reasons for 25 minutes about how drinking was destroying him. Maybe today you are thinking that way. But if in 3 days you now have 3 reasons to drink and only remember 2 reasons it is hurting you – you are in trouble. I have a long free online program because it takes 66 days to form new habits. Until you form new habits you will keep your old ones.
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Many people quit drinking for a bit but they don’t change their thinking. 30 days sober is good but a 30-day chip plus 3 new activities done daily is better. Don’t just listen at AA to be inspired, work to know exactly “why” others quit for good. One quit because he regained his spiritual roots again, one became a sports fanatic, one is now dedicated to education, one now focuses on financial success. The one thing they all have in common is that they now think about new things all the time. But they did not start out that way. You need to think about new things (not booze) way more this week, next week, and next month. Don’t be satisfied with quitting drinking. Work tirelessly at now even thinking about drinking for one second.
Drinking releases dopamine which makes us feel good. But now we have overdone it and feel bad often instead. So one drinks for a few hours and totally ruins their week, maybe month and year. From now on focus on the fact that you have a choice of addiction, which is short-term pleasure with destruction added, or long-term joy. Memorize the fact that you are giving up your joy in life if you go back to drinking. Say 3 times daily: Drinking is short-term pleasure with added destruction. I will choose long-term joy today.
Choosing joy often means doing the right thing instead of what we are in the mood to do. Choose exercise, playing the guitar, or a game as new activities to replace drinking. Today: Write down 3-5 new things that you can do daily as activities to replace drinking. You need new activities that will become positive addictions. I now hit plastic golf balls every day and play the piano instead of addiction. Over time I came to love these new activities.
Keep trying new activities until you find ones that will become positive addictions. Or you can work on quitting addiction exercises.
You need to know who, what, where, and how you get tempted and trapped back into drinking. Write down who you can’t be around, what situations trip you up and where you are when you become tempted the most. Now, avoid the bad places, people and situations that sink you. Plan your week and month to avoid triggers. Become an expert at knowing your triggers and planning how to avoid them.
If emotions lead you to drinking, start to work on them today. You can learn how to overcome emotions like being frustrated. You can improve your temper or fight back your fears.
Work daily on overcoming emotions if you identify that they are a trigger for you. This is all covered in my free 45-day program.
Set goals like: I will develop positive addictions for the sake of my spouse/kids/family/job. Set some that are easy and some that are hard. Easy: Things like: Try new activities daily, or going to AA twice per week, reestablishing my relationship with my Higher Power. Hard: Things like – develop new friends, study to become an expert at quitting an addiction, improve work habits or exercise habits.
Then go through your day accomplishing the easy goals first and consistently. Daily you improve more things and cut out things that used to lead you back to drinking. Work, improve, make progress. Learn how to quit by writing out the consequences of your actions.
Find things you can have self-discipline over. Does eating a moderate amount of cake improve self-discipline? Yes. Remember, you need to change 100 things to learn how to quit drinking. Start changing those 100 things today and believe that you will succeed.
Write a list of things you want to increase self-discipline in. Note that moderation is a key to long-term joy. A person who eats unhealthy foods and never exercises feels rotten. A person who eats healthy, begins to exercise and begins to make new healthy friends has a much better chance to quit for good. Work daily at finding new friends. Bad friends will sink you. New sober friends will help you change your life. Just like with finding new activities, this is a “must” for most people who want to quit. Keep working at it as if your life depends on it.
Becoming an expert at changing behavior is how to quit drinking. Expertise starts to give you some control. If today you learned that anger leads back to drinking that is helpful information. Now when someone deserves your anger at work, you have the option of working on or praying about your anger. Sometimes, your anger is the issue, not what they said or did. Now you know if you get mad at that person instead of working on your anger, you have allowed your trigger to fire your gun and lead you down that slippery slope.
Experts in quitting addiction become more and more prepared for their triggers. Experts plan their every move to avoid triggers. Prepare, plan, succeed.
The person with a 5-year chip thinks about drinking 1% per day and about other things 99% of the time. She has the chip because she went to war with drinking. Go to war mentally when someone says, “I wish I could have just one drink.” Immediately go to war by thinking, “These 3 ways are how drinking destroyed me in the past. Unless you control your thinking it will control you.
When someone is talking about that great party last Saturday, Go to war by leaving the room. When someone asks if it is OK to drink around you. War to war by saying: I am sorry, I can’t be around that right now.
Everybody, including your neighbors best friend, should be aware that you are at war. Even when people give you dumb advice on how to quit drinking. Thank them, because they may introduce you to someone who can help you quit.
Go to war by being open to spiritual advice. Try working with a pastor, try listening to Christian advice. Teen Challenge/Life Challenge have more people quit permanently than they have who relapse. How can they have a 70% success rate? Go to war by trying to live life their (Christian) way.
They help people learn how to quit drinking and at the same time, help them to find purpose. I donate more money to them than anyone because I see their program working.
But, however you go to war you need to find some purpose in life. A person whose goal is to stay clean and then one day to start to help others at AA has a great goal. If you have a great goal you will increase motivation towards becoming an expert at quitting.
Drinking causes more destruction than pleasure. Learn how to track that ratio here.
Buy Perkensons “Alcoholism, Drug Abuse Client Workbook.” If you want to learn how to quit drinking and at the same time find joy and purpose, buy my book.
A lady came up to me recently and said: “I went through your free course and bought your book and read it. I have never gone back to my addiction. Thank you.” I told her – “You are welcome.” To access my free course click here.